Home > The Court Process > The Different Types of Court Orders

The Different Types of Court Orders

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 28 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 

The Court has a number of ways of becoming involved if there is a dispute over the upbringing of a child. A summary of the most common Court Orders are below.

Section 8 Orders

The most common range of Court Orders used by the Court for this purpose are called "Section 8 Orders" as the powers are listed in Section 8 of the Children Act 1989.

A Section 8 Order cannot be made for a person over 18 years old. For an order to be made in respect of a 16 or 17 year old, there have to be "exceptional circumstances". The case of Re M (A Minor) (Immigration: Residence Order) [1993] 2 FLR 858 established that the fact that a child didn't have any relatives living in the UK was exceptional circumstances and could justify an order being made to last until the child was 18 years old.

Residence Orders

A residence order settles the arrangements regarding who a child is going to live with. This type of order can be made in favour of anyone, including grandparents, aunts and godparents. It is however most commonly made in favour of one of the child's parents.

"I have had my son every Thurs (until 8pm as his mum works) then Fri after school until Sunday at 6pm. We have done this for 4years non stop, but now my ex has decided she now wants him back every other sat night... now just because she now wants to take my son to her boyfriend's mums house on a Sunday... I need some help/advice please."

"Shared residence orders" are becoming increasingly common. These state that a child will live a certain amount of time with one person, and the rest of their time with another. The order will usually split the time at least 70/30. If the split is more unequal than this, the Court will often consider that a residence and contact order are more appropriate to achieve the desired effect.

Contact Order

A contact order determines who the child should keep in touch with in order to maintain a relationship with other family members. Contact may be in person or indirect such as via letter / email.

"My marriage has ended as my wife has a new partner. We have a 5 year old daughter. My fear now is when she will introduce him to my daughter... I have now found out that he was arrested last year for hitting his now ex-wife... I don't want him to have anything to do with my daughter. Is there anything I can do?"

On occasion a "no contact order" will be made to prevent a residential parent allowing a "risky" contact (such as a convicted paedophile or violent offender) to have contact with the child. However prohibited steps orders are often more appropriate for this purpose.

Specific issue Order

This order determines a specific question regarding a child's upbringing. This can be anything from what school a child should attend to whether a child should have particular medical treatment.

Prohibited Steps Order

This order states that a specified action in relation to the upbringing of a child should not happen without the express consent of the Court. The order is entirely negative, telling a parent or carer what they may not do in respect of their child.

"I have a baby with this lady... I have a problem since we separated a year ago and she got a new man in her life. 3 months later they got traditionally married... now she tells me that she's going to change her surname and also is my child to that man's surname. I really need help on this one..."

This order is commonly used to prevent a parent changing a child's surname, along with other issues such as removing them from the UK.

Local Authority Intervention

If a Local Authority intervenes in a family's life out of concerns for a child's welfare, there are three main orders that they will apply for.

Emergency Protection Order

This order is used to remove a child from a situation where they are suffering significant harm and there is not time to wait for the Local Authority to decide the long-term future of the child. The child is removed immediately without prior notice being given to the parents or child. This order is therefore only used in a genuine emergency in order to provide a child with immediate short-term protection.

Supervision Order

This order gives the Local Authority an obligation to supervise the care given to a child. The order does not allow the Local Authority to remove the child from their parents. This type of order works best with the co-operation of parents, and can be effectively used to support parents to care for children. This order is particularly common if a child is injured through an act of a parent that was thought to be out of character for the adult.

Care Order

A care order gives the Local Authority parental responsibility and so authorises them to make decisions about the child's upbringing, including where the child will live. The child is commonly placed in a care home, a Local Authority residence. However the Local Authority does not have to remove the child from their parents if a care order is in place.

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Hi I split with my fiancé 8 months ago under messy terms .we started having problems after our daughter was born and I started to talk to a colleague at work about my problems and in turn I had a affair with her . I left the mother but she found out about the affair and stopped me seeing my daughter . My daughter is 14 months old . We have attended mediation and come to an agreement with contact but it broke down as we kept arguing and I felt it best if I didn go to the house to spend time with my daughter . I am considering representing myself at court to apply for a prohibited steps order and a shared residency order . I have no convictions and no acts of violence towards either of them will the court grant my wishes considering my acts ofadultery . And is their anything I can do befor hand to better my chances
Chop - 28-Jan-17 @ 3:53 PM
Leigh - Your Question:
Hi all. I have recently seperated with my wife and mother of my two children. Since the desperation I have discovered and she has admitted to sleeping with atleast 5 other men in the last 12 months. Including needing a visit to the docs for the morning after pill on one occasion. She is now taking cocaine on a daily basis while the two children are in her care. The children are being pushed aside and her lifestyle is clearly her main priority. I need a quick way of gaining full custody and changing my children's school to my local area to keep them away from any harm. I have the full support of my family and also her family as they all know what she is doing. I don't want to just take the children even though I would love to. I want to do this once and do it right. I have a very good job and can fully support the children without a problem. I would need a childminder for a couple hours after school each day but other than that they would be with me and with family. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. I am tempted to ring the social services but I am scared that they will take the children and put them in care. Even for a night wouldn't be fair on them when they have safety available with me.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. It is very rare the court would take the children from one parent and hand them over to another unless there was a very good reason. The court will not judge your ex upon her lifestyle unless the children are suffering badly as a result. If you feel you need extra guidance, you may need to seek some legal advice in order to explore what your options are.
SeparatedDads - 19-Sep-16 @ 2:49 PM
Hi all. I have recently seperated with my wife and mother of my two children. Since the desperation I have discovered and she has admitted to sleeping with atleast 5 other men in the last 12 months. Including needing a visit to the docs for the morning after pill on one occasion. She is now taking cocaine on a daily basis while the two children are in her care. The children are being pushed aside and her lifestyle is clearly her main priority. I need a quick way of gaining full custody and changing my children's school to my local area to keep them away from any harm. I have the full support of my family and also her family as they all know what she is doing. I don't want to just take the children even though I would love to. I want to do this once and do it right. I have a very good job and can fully support the children without a problem. I would need a childminder for a couple hours after school each day but other than that they would be with me and with family. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. I am tempted to ring the social services but I am scared that they will take the children and put them in care. Even for a night wouldn't be fair on them when they have safety available with me.
Leigh - 17-Sep-16 @ 9:53 PM
Hi all. I have recently seperated with my wife and mother of my two children. Since the desperation I have discovered and she has admitted to sleeping with atleast 5 other men in the last 12 months. Including needing a visit to the docs for the morning after pill on one occasion. She is now taking cocaine on a daily basis while the two children are in her care. The children are being pushed aside and her lifestyle is clearly her main priority. I need a quick way of gaining full custody and changing my children's school to my local area to keep them away from any harm. I have the full support of my family and also her family as they all know what she is doing. I don't want to just take the children even though I would love to. I want to do this once and do it right. I have a very good job and can fully support the children without a problem. I would need a childminder for a couple hours after school each day but other than that they would be with me and with family. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. I am tempted to ring the social services but I am scared that they will take the children and put them in care. Even for a night wouldn't be fair on them when they have safety available with me.
Leigh - 17-Sep-16 @ 9:30 PM
Bobii - Your Question:
I recently broke up with my ex and offered to setup a payment plan for our single child that she initially refused saying they didn't need my money but has gone back and forwards over the issue many times. Is it better for me to apply via Child Maintenance. Also I have been limited to contact of 3hrs on my one day off from work on a Saturday and I can only see her after Nursery for 1 and half hours as I work afternoons and she works mornings. Please advise me!

Our Response:
You may wish to consider suggesting mediation to your ex in this instance to both sort out your financial payment plan and access, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 17-Aug-16 @ 2:59 PM
I recently broke up with my ex and offered to setup a payment plan for our single child that she initially refused saying they didn't need my money but has gone back and forwards over the issue many times. Is it better for me to apply via Child Maintenance. Also I have been limited to contact of 3hrs on my one day off from work on a Saturday and I can only see her after Nursery for 1 and half hours as I work afternoons and she works mornings. Please advise me!
Bobii - 17-Aug-16 @ 9:47 AM
Im looking for advice regarding getting part residence for my 1 year old son. I have been strongly advised by solicitors to not represent myself,as apparently I wouldnt get access at all yet alone part residence.Please read this and tell me if honestly this is correct. Thanks So basically i was in a domestic violence relationship andmy ex partner took a non-molestation order out against me.She also accused me of being a threat towards my son to social services,but there was no evidence to prove this. Then I was accused of pushing her down the stairs and causing a miscarriage several months later. So i was charged with an assult by beating and breach of the family courts non molestation order So i was given a 2 year suspended sentence,5 year restraing order ect...But i never went to prison. This all happened around about September time last year,so the restraing order is still in place but i have no restrictions from the court to say i cant see or i am a threat.(id like to just say that,non of this i had ever done but i was still found guilty... I am actually the one carrying scars from the knife attacks and yet the court still saw it as i was the voilent one...) If someone could just say weather i should go and represent myself or take a solicitor (trying to avoid,due to money)or weather there is no point at all...Thanks
Lew20 - 18-Jun-16 @ 9:07 PM
James - Your Question:
I'm a disabled 58 year old man, my partner called the police after an argument we had , she alleged I had chocked her , I was arrested but then released with no charges , no evidence of any sort , but yet the course made an order that I could not return to my special needs bungalow for 14 days my partner again went back to court and asked for a new restraining order I live in a housing association bungalow she asked to change the locks and they did , how can this be possible if I'm the one with the disability , I am now seeking legal aid , my mental and physical condition continues to deteriorate , I have a hearing on the 29 of June my cousin took me in as I have nowhere else to go my living conditions are a nightmare as I can't climb stairs and bathroom is on the 2nd floor my solicitor tells me to be patient , but how can this be just because I put her on the lease with as o thought we were going to make a life together , now even my council understands she is trying to take the bungalow from me but they advise me that she can't but yet I'm the one that is suffering this does not make any sense to me , please help , please

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this, but unfortunately we cannot advise if you are currently taking legal guidance, as your legal representative will be able to better explore your options and rights. I can only suggest you call the Shelter helpline here who may be able to help further.
SeparatedDads - 15-Jun-16 @ 10:06 AM
I'm a disabled 58 year old man, my partner called the police after an argument we had , she alleged I had chocked her , I was arrested but then released with no charges , no evidence of any sort , but yet the course made an order that I could not return to my special needs bungalow for 14 days my partner again went back to court and asked for a new restraining order I live in a housing association bungalow she asked to change the locks and they did , how can this be possible if I'm the one with the disability , I am now seeking legal aid , my mental and physical condition continues to deteriorate , I have a hearing on the 29 of June my cousin took me in as I have nowhere else to go my living conditions are a nightmare as I can't climb stairs and bathroom is on the 2nd floor my solicitor tells me to be patient , but how can this be just because I put her on the lease with as o thought we were going to make a life together , now even my council understands she is trying to take the bungalow from me but they advise me that she can't but yet I'm the one that is suffering this does not make any sense to me , please help , please
James - 14-Jun-16 @ 7:16 AM
my wife has said I cant see my four year old daughter as its not working around her new relaitionship as her new fella has only sunday off ant that there family time I used to have my daughter sundays and have said I do every other she said no so all contact has stopped she knows unlike her I cant afford legal fees what can I do not seeing my littte girl is breaking my heart
kimmo - 12-Jun-16 @ 1:51 PM
HI, i have 15 years old son with full custody since birth i was not married to the father of my son, under the family code by that timehe was born that my son is illegitimate.. now i am married to my norwegian husbandi am bringing my son with me in norway.. do i need a travel consent from the father of my child?
gel - 3-Mar-16 @ 5:45 PM
La - Your Question:
How can you get a paternity done if your name is not on birth certificate he knows it's his child

Our Response:
If the person concerned is sure the child is his, then there is not much point in paying for a paternity test. If the person wanted to be officially named as the parent, then he would have to apply for Parental Responsibility, please see link here for further information.
SeparatedDads - 8-Feb-16 @ 10:08 AM
How can you get a paternity done if your name is not on birth certificate he knows it's his child
La - 7-Feb-16 @ 3:40 AM
@Lea - his ex is obviously in breach of the contact order, therefore you should read link: Breach of Contact or Residence Order: What to Do here. You can also read link: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access, link here, both will answer your question regarding what his options are, which is really to take it back to court. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 8-Jun-15 @ 11:03 AM
Hi there, I really need your help please.... My partner is having trouble seeing his daughters as his ex believes that she has the right to just torment him with them! He has been through social services,cafcass and court resulting in supervised contact at first and then there was a court order put in place for un supervisoed contact which for the past year she has refused to do! He used to be able to ring his daughters which was put in place through cafcass but his ex stopped that too. Please please help x
Lea - 5-Jun-15 @ 3:11 PM
@dizzy - you may be interested in our Separated Dads Facebook page which includes recent articles on the same subject which offer a lot of helpful advice. No, she is not above the law and the law is beginning to take mothers who flout the law very seriously. You need to continue with the court process, if it has become costly you may find our article Legal Aid Withdrawal: How to Represent Yourself helpful link here.
SeparatedDads - 5-Jan-15 @ 12:14 PM
Please help us!! I am sending this on behalf of my partner James. We are at a loss! No one will help us. James's ex and mother of his child has stopped James from seeing their son Taylor. There is a court order in place (may I add the 3rd one) and this is the 3rd order she has now breached! She thinks she is above the law and claims the court orders not worth the paper they are written on. She constantly tells us to take her to court so then we are paying for the fee and now it's running out expensive. We took her to court in July as she broke the order made in December 2013. The magistrate pretty much gave her a slap on the hand and explained the penalties IF she breaks the final court order. Today we spoke quickly to a solicitor who didn't really want to help us and we were told that the courts don't usually like imposing the penalties on the mother's. Does that mean she has got away yet again of breaching the court order?? When will this woman get her commupance? Please help us! James is really struggling and wants to see his son. She stopped him seeing Taylor over Xmas and has told him he won't be seeing him again! James didn't see Taylor for a whole year in 2012-2013 because of this woman. She laughs at the law. Thank you
dizzy - 29-Dec-14 @ 8:26 PM
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